New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton
Minicamp Media Availability
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
It seemed like a big confidence builder out there for the defense today.
"It is always the one challenge as a head coach. Yesterday, we looked at the tape, and there was a big play made. So, you are hoping that it goes back and forth. All of these situations are different amounts of time. Sometimes it is end-of-half; maybe it is a field goal. The last situation was 'down seven at the end of a game.' If you really look at each week and at the end of the year count up your two-minute snaps—end of half or end of game—you are close to 100. So many of those games finish, for us and the rest of the league, on a final drive or at the end of the half. It is just something that we cannot get enough work on."
How is Alvin Kamara fitting in?
"Good. He is smart; he understands. He is a quick study. There is still that learning curve for a young player. He is paying attention to the reps he is receiving and also the ones in front of him when he is not in."
For Sheldon Rankins, how much does an injury like the one he suffered last year in training camp stunt his growth?
"It is difficult in training camp when you have something that is going to take you out for half of the season. It is always a challenge. He is someone that picks things up quickly. Fortunately, he is healthy now. He is doing well. He has really been good through the offseason program. Obviously, he is going to be important to what we do."
It seemed like the defense was getting a lot of hands on the ball today?
"It was good. This morning, we started with some film from yesterday where we had some missed assignments, both offensively and defensively. You are just trying to point out that oftentimes, it is just the little things in those types of situations that keep you from having a chance to win a game. That was encouraging."
Does it seem like some of the younger guys are picking up those little things quicker?
"Hopefully. When they come here, they're six weeks behind in the offseason program. Of course, it is the first time they are receiving the playbook. So, they are not going to catch up in a day, a week, two weeks. The idea is that by the time we get into the preseason, they have a good grasp as to what to do so that they can go ahead and execute. Generally, it is no different than when we went to take a test, and we did not study. It is not a good feeling. So, it is trying to get them prepared for that."
Can you talk about the activity you saw from Marshon Lattimore in the backfield? I saw Bell was communicating with him.
"He made a couple of plays today. I told him that he iw going to be like Kendrick Lamar. They're all going to get in line to go see him. That is just how it is for a rookie corner. There will be a long line waiting to test him, and he understands that. That is part of that status."
We saw Darryl Tapp working quite a bit inside today. What do you like about him in that position?
"He has some versatility. He can come inside. We see him as a base defensive end. He is smart. He knows what to do; he plays with good pad levels. In his case, that flexibility—he can give you a couple of things, and I think that is important."
Has Nick Fairley's absence forced you to test the versatility of some of these guys?
"I do not know if it has changed the rotation. Maybe in his case, where he received some more reps that he would not have had. Certainly, we are paying attention to it."
What about the presence of Tony McDaniel?
"He comes from Seattle. He is originally from South Carolina. He is in here working out. He has three days where he is working out. Look, he is big, and he is strong. I would say he is an early down-type player. We have seen and played against him for a number of years."
With Andrus Peat, now that he has a chance to finally hone in on one position, how much will that benefit him?
"We know he feels more comfortable on the left side of the ball. I think anytime you're receiving multiple reps at the same position, you begin to build some cohesiveness with your group. So, the more those guys are going together in those same positions—of course, we have got to be able to occasionally change them. Out here, you have 14 or 15 (offensive linemen on the roster), but when you go to the game you might have seven or eight (linemen). So there has to be some flexibility with injuries if they happen."
So you are still working him a little at tackle?
"Yes, but he has been more at guard right now."
Can you talk about finding out about Steve Scalise today?
"I heard probably when you heard. Obviously, our prayers are with his family and those that were involved. I am not as familiar with it, but I know how important the Saints are and the state is to him and his family. It is obviously sad news. Hopefully his recovery is fast."